Toronto, ON - Johnny O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, GA, and Lawson Aschenbach, of Jupiter, FL, will start on pole for their respective classes for the Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS Round 10, part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge, at the Honda Indy 200 at Toronto. With their fastest laps, both O'Connell and Aschenbach set new series qualifying track records for the 11-turn, 1.765 mile temporary street circuit.
O'Connell, driving the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R will start on pole in GT after posting a 1:10.304. The time obliterated the previous track record of 1:14.583. It's O'Connell's sixth pole of the season and third straight pole after starting first for both Lime Rock Park races.
"The practice that we had on Friday was minimal," O'Connell said. "I had a slight brake issue on my car in practice Friday. I was able to run strong in practice, but just didn't have the full confidence I needed.Team Cadillac did a great job to get it fixed for qualifying.
"I was excited going into this morning's qualifying session," he added. "Even though we weren't on the track yesterday, I got a million laps in watching the IndyCar race and the Touring Car guys. I had already driven the perfect lap in my head. On my first flying lap, I made a little mistake and then on my second I could not have asked for a more perfect lap. This Cadillac team gets better every race weekend. We are making improvements on the small things every race. That is why this team is successful."
Alex Figge, of Denver, CO, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 will start second after posting a 1:10.579. GT Drivers' Points leader James Sofronas, of Villa Park, CA, in the No. 14 GMG/Swisher Racing/Mobil 1 Audi R8 LMS will start third after posting a 1:10.822.
Rounding out the top 5 are Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, FL, in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R. with a fast lap of 1:10.832 and Randy Pobst, of Gainesville, GA in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 with a fast lap of 1:10.987.
In GTS, Aschenbach, in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, had the fastest lap with a 1:16.726, eclipsing the previous qualifying lap record of 1:20.924. It's Aschenbach's third pole of the season.
"To be honest, qualifying has been kind of an Achilles' heel for us this year," said Aschenbach. "We've constantly been changing and learning the car. We just started with this car at St. Pete, with the first laps turned. We keep making gains and made a big one this weekend. We'll see what happens. But it's hats off to everyone at Blackdog Speed Shop Team Chevy Camaro, because we have been fast since we rolled off the truck.
The Camaro excels under braking, and the Exhibition Place Toronto street circuit is no different.
"Braking at street courses is always tough, because it's rough, bumpy, and we have a big heavy car. The way we run our setup, it still brakes well. You don't get a lot of brake cooling either."
Starting second is Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, CO in the No 20 Best IT/Bondurant/Crown Seven Chevrolet Camaro after posting a 1:16.837. Peter Cunningham, of Milwaukee, WI, in the No. 42 Acura/HPD/RealTime Racing Acura TSX will start third after posting a 1:16.886.
Rounding out the top 5 is GTS Drivers' Points Leader Jack Baldwin, in the No. 73 Motul/StopTech/Foametix Porsche Cayman S who had a fast time of 1:16.942 and Nic Jonsson, of Sweden, in the No. 36 Kia America/Kia Racing/Kinetic Kia Optima who will start fifth after posting a time of 1:16.999.
Round 10 in the GT/GTS Championship will go green at 12:50pm today.
TORONTO, Canada - Starting lineup for Sunday's Pirelli World Challenge Championship Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS Round 10 race, part of the Toronto Grand Prix at Streets of Toronto, with position, class, car number in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, fastest lap time, and speed in miles per hour.
Pirelli World Challenge